The Wisconsin football team’s defense ranked among the best in the nation all season, in large part due to the play of senior outside linebacker Joe Schobert.The Big Ten recognized Schobert for his efforts this season with the Butkus-Fitzgerald Award, which goes to the conference’s top linebacker.Schobert exploded onto the national scene during the Badgers’ opener against Alabama, recording 13 tackles and two sacks. That performance set the stage for what would be an impressive season.Through the season’s first five games, Schobert had nine sacks. His current total of 9.5 sacks ranks tied for 11th in the country.Schobert made 76 tackles during the regular season (38 total, 38 unassisted).Schobert played his best when the offense needed the aid of the defense the most. Even though both results were losses, Schobert’s games against Iowa and Northwestern were dominant. He had three sacks against the Hawkeyes and three tackles for loss against the Wildcats. His 18.5 tackles for loss ranks seventh in the nation.He forced five fumbles this season, tying the Badgers’ single-season record. That mark ranks tied for second in the nation.Schobert becomes the second UW linebacker to earn the award. Chris Borland won it in 2013.Penn State’s Carl Nassib beat out Schobert for the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honor, also known as the Nagurski-Woodson Award.Teammates get in on all-Big Ten actionIn addition to being named the league’s top linebacker, Schobert was a consensus pick to the all-Big Ten first team. Senior safety Michael Caputo earned consensus second-team all-Big Ten honors, while Schobert’s fellow outside linebacker Vince Biegel was named to the all-Big Ten third team, also by consensus.Senior safety Tanner McEvoy earned an honorable mention from the league’s coaches and the league’s media. Other UW honorable mentions include redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Chikwe Obasih (media), junior cornerback Sojourn Shelton (media), senior safety Darius Hillary (coaches) and redshirt freshman T.J. Edwards (coaches).Meyer earns weekly honorSenior punter Drew Meyer earned his second Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week distinction Monday.Meyer punted seven times, averaging 41.3 yards per punt during the Badgers’ 31-21 victory over Minnesota Saturday. He saved his best for last, booting punts of 53 and 54 yards in the fourth quarter. He pinned the Golden Gophers inside their own 20-yard line three times.Meyer also won the award on Oct. 26.